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Former longtime WBZ-TV meteorologist Bruce Schwoegler dies at 80

Bruce Schwoegler was a meteorologist and science reporter at WBZ-TV for 33 years, covering the Blizzard of 1978 and many other weather events.WBZ-TV

Bruce Schwoegler, a proud Midwesterner who endeared himself to New Englanders as a longtime meteorologist at WBZ-TV, and who later enjoyed a career as a science entrepreneur and educator, has died, his family said.

Schwoegler, an Emmy Award-winning forecaster and a member of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, died on Thursday. He was 80.

For 33 years, Schwoegler was a top-rated forecaster and science reporter at the station, earning the trust of viewers as he reported on such epic weather events as the Blizzard of ‘78.

“I did that for five days in a row,” he recalled in 2018, according to a story posted on WBZ-TV’s website. “The other guys couldn’t get in.”

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As a member of the Eyewitness News Team, alongside anchors Liz Walker and Jack Williams, and sportscaster Bob Lobel, Schwoegler became a nightly presence in homes across the region.

He left the station in 2001, the Globe reported. He was inducted into the broadcaster’s Hall of Fame in 2014, a class that also included the posthumous admission of Julia Child, the celebrated “French Chef” of public television, according to its website.

Schwoegler’s family announced his death Friday evening on the Facebook page of his daughter, Melinda Schwoegler. The post recalled his deep love for his family, science and the great outdoors.

“He was a Naval veteran, a decorated author, a teacher, a phenomenal father and husband and also just one hell of a guy,” the Facebook post said.

Schwoegler was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and “loved Badger football,” the post said. He was a longtime Wayland resident who loved the town and nearby Lake Cochituate, his daughter, Dr. Melinda Schwoegler, said in an e-mail Saturday.

“My dad was the life of the party,” the post said. “He was loud, he loved a good prank and he had boundless energy. He took risks and didn’t fear failing or what people would think. He was insanely intelligent and had a tireless work ethic. He was a do-it-your-selfer who could actually get it done.”

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The post also referenced Schwoegler’s experience with aphasia, a disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate and can affect their both their speech and their ability to write and understand spoken and written language, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“Although aphasia made it increasingly difficult to verbally communicate with him, his comprehension, boisterous laugh and larger than life personality remained intact, enabling him to live vibrantly up until the very end,” it said.

The Facebook post said Schwoegler was a devoted family man who was married to his wife, Barbara, for nearly 50 years and who loved spending time outdoors — skiing at Waterville Valley and boating on local lakes and coastal areas.

“He was fearless and took our family on incredible adventures whenever he could,” the post said. “He taught me to ride a bike and we went on countless biking and hiking excursions. He loved to swim. He was a talented speed skater and it drove him nuts when we called him a figure skater.”

Schwoegler was the first winner of the New England Emmy Award for Outstanding Meteorologist, alongside numerous other accolades, and he helped devise school science curricula at Boston University. Across his long career he developed “an ability to simplify and teach complex technological issues to a broadcast audience and others,” according to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

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Schwoegler’s family continued to learn from him to the end, according to the Facebook post.

“My dad taught me so many things throughout my life and that never stopped,” the post said. “When his memories faded and the future wasn’t a thought, he showed me how all we are really guaranteed is the present. And in his death, he showed me that passing away can be done with grace, beauty and bravery.”

Schwoegler leaves his wife Barbara; brother Tom; son Matt, daughter-in-law Hilary, and their daughters, Ava and Grace; and his daughter Melinda, her husband, Brian White, and their children, Annabel and Anders.

Kathy McCabe of the Globe staff contributed to this story.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.